Home - Chermside & District History

Fr Karol (Carrol) Misso (1980-1987)

Fr Christopher Karol Misso came from Sri Lanka and was Priested in 1965. He served in several parishes in Sri Lanka and came to Australia to serve at Grovely for the period of 1972/4 and then to Caboolture from 1976 to 1980. Fr Misso, with his wife, Deanna and family, served at All Saints’ from 1980 to 1987 moving on to become Mission Chaplain to Tertiary Institutions.

The Rev Karol Misso was inducted as Rector of Chermside Parish on September 20, 1980.

Val Kerr looks at Fr Misso:

Karol Misso came, bringing a strong interest in social justice. Encouraged to combine spirituality with a concern for the world and the welfare of our neighbour he consolidated the work already begun by Fr Barry. Total, shared mutual ministry was the emphasis. A priest with the gift of discernment he raised people up, trained them for ministry, affirmed and supported them in the use of their individual gifts. Community building was stressed at this time. Geographical pastoral care groups were established. A firm foundation was laid for the strong lay ministry we have today.
St Laurence’s Sunday school was closed in February 1981 and merged with All Saints’ due to lack of teachers and facilities. The main causes for the closure were:
  1. The area did not develop as anticipated;
  2. McDowall was joined to Everton Park parish;
  3. All Saints’ was more convenient as to times of worship and had organisations that were already established.
The consequences were that worshippers moved to All Saints’ with the children leaving St Laurence’s with fewer regular worshippers and attendance declined still further. The Rector’s Report stated that by May 1981 it had dropped to two persons. At the end of July it was decided to stop holding worship as no person had attended for six weeks.

Bells of All Saints'

The original bell, donated when the church was first built in 1914, had been installed on a timber post near the vestry. In 1956 a new bell was donated by Jack Cassels. This was probably when the timber Bell Tower was constructed.

In 1978 discussions took place with the Architects, Conrad Esler and Simpson regarding the building of a new bell tower. Several designs were submitted for consideration with the final design being accepted in April 1979. On 14 December, 1980, the new Archbishop of Brisbane, The Most Rev. John Grindrod, dedicated the new Bell Tower to the memory of the Rev Jack Kruger, Rector from 1961 to 1973. The inscription plate reads:

Ring out to the Glory of God and recall with thanksgiving the ministry of His priest, Jack Kruger, Rector of All Saints’ Chermside 1961 to 1973, died 23 May, 1978.
The original All Saints’ Bell (1914) was re-erected at St Thomas‘, East Chermside (Wavell Heights) and was used until 1989 when it was donated to the Greek Orthodox Community under Fr. George Papoutsakis. The Orthodox community had been using the building at St Thomas’ for their services and meetings until their new church was completed. So to remember their association with St Thomas’ from 1987 to 1989 they were given the bell and they installed it at their new church in the Taigum area, the Parish of Paraskivi.

At Fete time the Bell Tower at All Saints’ served a secondary purpose. A Flying Fox used to be rigged up from the Bell Tower (or post) behind the old church to another post about 20 or 30 metres across the parking area. The flyers would hold on to a hand grip fastened to a wheel on the rope and ‘fly’ down the rope. Someone, rather large, would be waiting at the lower end to catch the flyer. Not all children were allowed to fly, they had to be of a certain age and have some skills in this area. The CEBS used to practice this activity on Camps.

Youth and Renewal

The Annual Report of 1981-2 indicated that the Confirmation program was trying to develop a viable and effective strategy to develop the Parish and Community’s understanding of Confirmation and Baptism. This would help people to see these sacraments as being more relevant to their lives. This Ministry to parents who request baptism was to instruct them and involved discussions to help them prepare for this sacrament. However to do this properly there was a need for more laity to be more involved.

The CEBS (ABS) and GFS were seen as evangelistic and reaching out to those who have no contact with the life of the Community. Thus the formation of the members had to reflect this aim. On the other hand, the Sunday school and the newly formed Youth Group were seen as leading the members to a deeper commitment to God. Their training should reflect this aim.

These changes were followed in 1982 by other changes at the Eucharist using Drama, Liturgical Movement, Choral Readings, and Musical Settings. The attempt was to make a multi-faceted celebration which, it was hoped, would appeal to the young.

Another change, also aimed at the youth, was a less structured act of worship which was centred on the proclamation of the Good News, Praise in Song, Music, Dance, Personal Testimonies and less structured prayer. It was to be on the Fifth Sunday evening after 6pm Eucharist.

In early 1984 the Renewal in Ministry program was aimed at a wide section of the parishioners. It aimed to train people to take a more active part in running the Church. The program was attended by 100 persons over a period of 7 weeks. It tried to give a new vision of ministry and identify the gifts of ministry that each person possessed. Part of the training was to encourage them to grow in ministry by sharing their experiences.

Unfortunately, the Social Justice Studies program “Changing Australia” had “very limited support” during the course.

Off Site Rectory

During 1984 the parish commenced to think about what could be done to improve the old Rectory facility at the church. Throughout the following year the parish spent considerable time with many sub-committees endeavouring to come to grips with, and work out the best solution.

On October 13, 1985, a special General Meeting of the parish decided to purchase an existing house at a suitable location, for a cost not exceeding $110,000. A very suitable brick veneer type house, which met with the Diocesan Authorities approval, was found at 5 Toomey Street, West Chermside, for a cost of $87,000. The vacating of the old rectory building enabled it to be made into a Parish Centre, which provided the parish with an additional resource for meetings, office use, and library facilities.

The Annual Report also noted that the 6pm Sunday Eucharist congregation had greatly declined, and fewer still attended Evening prayer when it was offered in Fr Misso’s absence. New ideas were being tried, such as the Eucharist being celebrated through dance, drama and music. Retreats were continuing, two groups of the EFM were still proceeding, the Bible Study Group and the ‘What Christians Believe’ group were working well. A rather ominous note was struck by the comment that the congregation at St Thomas’ averaged only 20-22 persons.

In 1986 the Rector commented that the Eucharist on Sunday evening had been replaced by Evening Prayer but it had not met with much response. While there was a 100 plus people worshipping at All Saints’, there was only a small number at St Thomas’ which was then shared with the Greek Orthodox Church. Weekly meetings continued for the two groups of Education for Ministry, and the Bible studies group. The Lenten group of about 20 people took part in the weekly studies on Basic Christian Belief.

The second Parish Camp was cancelled due to lack of numbers, but the first one at Tambourine Mountain was attended by 40 Adults and 28 children. They studied the theme of “Wholeness in a Broken World”.

Children Admitted to Holy Communion

Synod, in June 1986, decided to admit children to Holy Communion prior to confirmation with a minimum age of 7 years. The proposal was very controversial as it meant changing a long standing tradition. It was trialled in some parishes, one of which was All Saints’.

The selection of All Saints’ was partly because of its reputation of being a parish which could adapt to change. Consequently, a two year Confirmation preparation program for older teens was commenced on 21st September 1986 with 8 young people at All Saints’.

The change was not intended to degrade Confirmation but to try and accommodate Church practice to modern times. Gone were the days when the girls wore white veils and the boys were told not to use Brylcream and Californian Poppy on their hair.

The halls at St Thomas’ and All Saints’ were in constant use and provided a source of revenue. Unfortunately, the Garden of Remembrance at All Saints’ had fallen into disrepair but was being steadily restored.

Fr Karol Misso and Deanna left in June 1987, when he moved to be the position of Tertiary Institutions Chaplain at Q U T.